We have just had a couple of weeks with family in France, sleeping and eating lots, resting and thinking about what really matters! I love this time of the year. You can really unwind and not feel remotely guilty about it. We really made the most of our time with loved ones eating (way too much), laughing, playing games, reading and watching rubbish TV.
I hope you all had a nice, relaxing Christmas. Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe it is 2016 already?
I have not set new year’s resolutions as such for years, probably because by the 3rd of January, they are all forgotten about and good old habits are back (so warm and fluffy, so comfortable and easy!).
Rather than going for unachievable goals of perfection, sparkle and ambition, I thought I would put to paper (and keyboard) a short list of things I want to stop running away from.
In 2016, I will not be a distracted mum.
My lifetime ambition is to be a good mum. I am not interested in fame or success, more money than I can dream of or gold-plated furniture. I just want my four children to be happy and grow up to become good members of society. Nothing more.
A lot of the time, although I am there in person, I have so much on my mind I go on autopilot with the children and chat with them without being fully attentive to what they are saying, asking for or wondering about.
I want to be a present parent, one who really listens. Children grow up so quickly; I wouldn’t want to wake up one day thinking I have missed their childhood or not made the most of it. I will make sure that every day, I spend at least 10 minutes one-to-one with each one of my children reading, cuddling, doing homework or playing. I know it sounds like very little time, but with six of us at home, we generally spend time as a group rather than in pairs.
In 2016, I will not get overwhelmed by my to-do list.
That list is my nemesis. I cannot remember anything that does not get written down, so I make lots of notes. I also tend to give myself a daily list of things to do much longer than I could possibly do in one week. I am not realistic and as a result, I get scared at the sheer length of my list of things to complete. I then panic and end up procrastinating rather than crossing anything off the wretched list. It will take time, but I will do it: I will see this list as a useful organisational tool rather than an enemy.
In 2016, I will not get online at the weekend.
About a year ago, I started turning off the laptop from my bedtime on Fridays to the children’s bedtime on Sundays. I feel a lot more relaxed, have more time for the children, chat more with my husband and even enjoy my Saturday ironing sessions. Family time is quality time, even when it is nothing more than sitting together around the dining room table drawing or going for a run outside. I also feel more productive. Having time to reflect and going back to paper for a couple of days every week makes a lot of difference. I love it, but I need to do it more consistently in 2016.
In 2016, I will not be late.
You know that mum who runs past you as you are leaving the school, the dishevelled one pushing a child through the classroom door as it is about to close, the one with the baby in pyjamas in the pram, porridge caked on her face (the baby, not the mum!)… Me, me, me, all me!
I am not proud of it, but pretty much every morning is hectic. Most of the time, everything seems under control until about 5 minutes before it is time to leave. Then it all goes pear shaped and we manage to leave the house at the time we should arrive at school (3 minutes away) every single day.
OK, this one might take some time and organisation but my little man is starting to worry about being one of the last children to arrive at school every day. All he wants is to line up with everyone else in the playground in the morning. Come on Mel, you can do this!
Have you got resolutions for the New Year?